NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007
A review of

Laura Warholic

by Alexander Theroux

Central question: What does love look like when two unlovable people incapable of expressing love fall in love?
Format: 600 pp., cloth; Size: 6" x 9"; Price: $29.95; Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; Editor: Gary Groth; Print run: 8,000; Book design: Alexander Theroux and Adam Grano; Typeface: Baskerville; Book’s full title: Laura Warholic, or The Sexual Intellectual; Number of references to crows in the novel: twenty; Number of appearances by a real crow: three; Representative sentence: “Her bowleggedness and that listing shipboard gait of hers, as well as the long socks and T-shirts she wore to bed most of the time he stayed over, were an added anaphrodisiac, as were her poultry-feet eyes, surprisingly wrinkled even at the age of thirty-five.”

Ulysses, Midnight Cowboy, and Lenny Bruce’s comedy were all labeled obscene until enough time had passed that wider audiences began to see the works as brilliant. I wonder if the same will hold true of Alexander Theroux’s new novel. It is a pissed-off book, and reading its six hundred pages is as much fun as a hot August road trip with Don Imus, Ann Coulter, and Andrew Dice Clay. Yet it is also a remarkable achievement, a bombastic, squirm-inducing, and belief-rattling satire on political correctness shown through the lens of a sexless love story between two of the most unlovable (if not repulsive) characters in recent American letters. It takes an author like Theroux, who is as established as he is antiestablishment, to pull off a novel that for many other authors would be career suicide.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—Richard Melo

Richard Melo is the author of the novel Jokerman 8, published in 2004 by Soft Skull Press. His book reviews have appeared in the Portland Oregonian and Willamette Week.

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